SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Elon Musk plans to lay off most of Twitter’s workforce if and when he becomes owner of the social media company, according to a report Thursday by The Washington Post.
Musk has told potential investors of his Twitter purchase that he plans to cut nearly 75% of Twitter’s employee base of 7,500 workers, leaving the company with a skeleton crew, according to the report. The newspaper cited documents and unnamed sources familiar with the discussions.
San Francisco-based Twitter and a representative for Musk attorney Alex Spiro did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
While job cuts have been expected regardless of sales, the scale of Musk̵[ads1]7;s planned cuts are far more extreme than anything Twitter had planned. Musk himself has alluded to the need to kill some of the company’s employees in the past, but he had not stated a specific number – at least not publicly.
“A 75% cut in staffing would indicate, at least out of the gates, stronger free cash flow and profitability, which would be attractive to investors looking to participate in the deal,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said. “That said, you can’t cut yourself short.”
Ives added that such a drastic reduction in Twitter’s workforce would likely set the company back years.
Already, experts, nonprofits and even Twitter’s own employees have warned that pulling back on investments in content moderation and data security could hurt Twitter and its users. With such a drastic reduction as Musk may be planning, the platform could quickly be overrun by harmful content and spam – the latter of which the Tesla boss himself has said he will address if he becomes owner of the company.
After his initial $44 billion bid in April to buy Twitter, Musk pulled out of the deal, claiming Twitter misrepresented the number of fake “spam bot” accounts on the platform. Twitter sued, and a judge in Delaware has given both sides until October 28 to work out details. Otherwise, there will be a trial in November.